I recently got married (and changed my name from Kim Goodfriend to Kim Laidlaw, in the off chance that there was any confusion) and my new mother-in-law and her partner, who I've only met on one other occasion, came to visit us...all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Now, I adore my mother-in-law, but I was a little intimidated when she announced that she only likes to eat Italian and "normal" food. What would I ever find to prepare for her? How could I possibly wow her with my culinary prowess? What if I made something she hated? Was my imagination going off the deep end?
The solution came with a trip to the SF Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market on the first Saturday of their stay. We arrived early and made an initial pass through the crowd, just to get our bearings. She was enthralled with all the fruits and vegetables and foodstuffs she'd never seen before. We left the guys on a bench near the bay and went off on our second pass, sniffing this, trying that, and all the while, I kept asking her what she liked or disliked. In this way, I managed to cobble together my first dinner for my new mother-in-law.
First stop--and a pretty safe bet--was Shogun Fish, who display their freshly caught salmon and halibut every Saturday. We chose two thick gorgeous, incredibly fresh, deeply red, wild salmon fillets. I mean, who doesn't love salmon?*
*Note: Um, actually I don't. In fact, I rarely like salmon. I particularly loathe farm-raised salmon which I find flavorless. However, when it's fresh it can be absolutely delicious. And I've become quite a fan of smoked salmon in recent years. Which is a good thing, because my husband and his entire family are Scottish. And they love smoked salmon. It's like a national dish. Second only to fried things. And maybe haggis. Oh, wait, and whisky. Yes, whisky is a food group. But I digress...